Featured Faculty

Dr. Jeff Carter-Johnson

Adjunct Professor at the MSU College of Law, teaches Survey of Intellectual Property in Agriculture as well as Biotechnology Law and Food Products

Dr. Carter-Johnson’s extensive background in biology is used to explore the impact of technology and innovation on law and society. One major aspect of his research involves the uses of new molecular biology techniques in the production of food. Dr. Carter-Johnson explains the importance these new technologies to our food supply. "Agriculture is the oldest technology industry. We have been manipulating the DNA of plants and animals for over 10,000 years. Selective breeding has been superseded by molecular biology making it faster and easier to develop plants and animals that serve society’s needs."

With the use of these new technologies comes a variety of questions and challenges. Should these new crops be regulated differently from conventionally bred crops? What information about the use of these technologies in food should the consumer have a right to know? How do we incentivize the development of new technologies and new foods? Dr. Carter-Johnson’s classes cover these regulations and incentives in order to give students the tools to develop careers as leaders in a highly-fluid, highly-technological industry.

Dr. Carter-Johnson received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He then received his Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Virginia, where his research concentrated on virology and molecular biology. Subsequently, Dr. Carter-Johnson was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan. After his Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Dr. Carter-Johnson attended Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, where he received his J.D.

Dr. Carter-Johnson lives in Michigan with his wife and three dogs. Each year he tends what may be the nation’s least productive vegetable garden, attempting to grow a variety of both heirloom and more modern varieties of crops.